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College of Engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio Online Magazine

An Unlikely Life Fascinated with Failure Faster. Smarter. Stronger. Long-Distance Communication The American Dream Well Intentioned Plans

Also in this issue

New Faculty
New Faculty

The College of Engineering welcome two new faculty

Farewell for Now
Farewell for Now

After almost eight years, Dr. Mauli Agrawal’s role as the Dean of Engineering at UTSA is coming to an end.

Dean's List
Student Profiles

On the Background

Well Intentioned Plans

Living within the Sechura desert, one of the most arid places in the world, citizens of Viña Vieja, Peru, struggle for what little water they have. But as farming activity increases, bacterial pollutants now choke the only water supplies available. Until UTSA’s Chapter of Engineers Without Borders can finish construction of a well, the citizens are left with few options.

More at "Well Intentioned Plans".


A message from the Dean of the College of Engineering

Fifty years ago, the stereotypical engineer was a middle-aged white male with a pocket protector. Today, the face of engineering is changing and the stereotypes of what it means to be an engineer are quickly fading. In fact, perhaps the only thing common among engineers is that they are smart, and they have an analytical mind. The diversity among engineers is perhaps nowhere as evident as at UTSA.

UTSA serves South Texas and is the heartland of the fastest growing community in the country—Hispanics. As a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), UTSA’s College of Engineering (COE) clearly reflects this in its undergraduate population where almost 45 percent of the students are of Hispanic descent. The college also has a growing African-American and international representation, and we are very proud of this heritage.

Diversity is not limited to just ethnicity. The College of Engineering has a strong representation of students and researchers from all over the world. On any given day, a visitor to the college can expect to find people from more than 30 countries in its classrooms or labs. For example, Maryam Niknamfar, a graduate student in Electrical and Computer Engineering has come all the way from Iran to study at UTSA. Individuals like Maryam create a rich tapestry of cultures and traditions that promote learning and a wider view of the world. Perhaps the only thing these individuals have in common is a love for engineering.

The changing face of engineering is also reflected in our faculty who come from all over the world and are a celebration of ethnic, gender and national diversity. Dr. Krystel Castillo, an assistant professor in Mechanical Engineering embodies much of this diversity.

It is also true that in the past, people who came from humble socioeconomic circumstances had a hard time becoming engineers because they were rarely exposed to all career possibilities. This too is changing as is exemplified by the story of Tania Hernandez who is studying mechanical engineering.

In this issue you can also read about two great supporters of the College of Engineering, Mr. Ed Whitacre (former CEO of AT&T and General Motors) and Dr. Normam Jacobson, who have both donated funds to establish endowed faculty positions in the COE.

With so much change happening, it will be hard for me to leave. However, after serving as the dean of the college for about eight years, I have been promoted and will be serving as the Vice President for Research at UTSA starting May 2013. During these past eight years, the faculty, students and staff have made great strides and the college is flourishing. But, I firmly believe that the best is yet to come!

Signature Mauli Agrawal

C. Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D., P.E.
Peter T. Flawn Professor
David and Jennifer Spencer Distinguished Dean’s Chair in Engineering

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Current Issue: Spring 2013 | Table of Contents